V8s top drivers cop penalties

Three of V8 Supercars’ top five drivers have been docked championship points after a chaotic day of racing on Saturday – including newly-crowned centurion Craig Lowndes.

Stewards investigated a total of eight incidents and on Sunday confirmed five breaches, which have had major implications on the overall standings.

Lowndes was handed a 15-point penalty for contact with Todd Kelly’s Nissan in the weekend’s first 21-lap sprint, extending the gap to Ford’s series leader Mark Winterbottom to 44 points.

His Red Bull Racing teammate and defending champion Jamie Whincup copped a 25-point deduction for careless driving in an incident with Holden’s Fabian Coulthard in the same race.

The penalty dropped him from fourth to fifth in the title race and 214 points behind Winterbottom.

It means Chaz Mostert climbs to fourth following his race one victory and podium in the second.

“It’s pretty cool. Normally I’m the one going back in points from penalties,” Mostert said.

Stewards also penalised James Courtney 25 points for causing a crash with his Holden Racing teammate Garth Tander and Shane van Gisbergen, dropping him to sixth in the title race.

Meanwhile, Jason Bright was slapped with two 25-point penalties for his involvement in an incident with David Reynolds and rookie Andre Heimgartner.

After the high of scoring his 100th race win in V8 Supercars on Saturday, Lowndes was a lowly 22nd in the final practice session on Sunday before qualifying for the afternoon feature race.

Whincup fared even worse in 24th, a massive 1.8secs behind Mercedes’ Ash Walsh who topped the timesheets, ahead of Coulthard and van Gisbergen.

David Wall was fourth fastest, despite nosing his Volvo into a tyre wall.

His teammate Scott McLaughlin did the same thing at turn 10, causing some damage to his S60.

Qualifying begins at 11.35am (AEST).

DRIVERS PENALISED POST RACE 13

* Jamie Whincup (Holden) – careless driving – 25 points

* Craig Lowndes (Holden) – careless driving – 15 points

* Jason Bright (Holden) – 2 x careless driving – 2 x 25 points

* James Courtney (Holden) – careless driving – 25 points

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